Have your Facebook marketing metrics been pulled down by the recent changes on the social network? Wondering how you can overcome these updates and make them work for you instead?
In this article, you’ll understand how Facebook’s controversies in 2018 have led to its recent updates and learn how you can turn those Facebook marketing challenges into opportunities.
Controversies That Influenced Facebook’s Latest Updates
2018 was a particularly tough year for Facebook, as it went through one controversy after another. These scandals have prompted the world’s largest social network to make several changes to its policies, much to the dismay of business owners and marketers who have to deal with the impact.
To understand better why Facebook has to introduce certain updates, here’s a quick look at three of its greatest challenges that led to those major changes:
Cambridge Analytica Data Scandal
Facebook suffered a lot of data privacy and security breaches last year, with the Cambridge Analytica scandal being the biggest and most controversial to date.
Cambridge Analytica, a British political research firm, had illegally accessed personal data of 50 million Facebook users for Donald Trump’s presidential campaign in 2016. The U.S. Senate questioned Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg about the company’s data mining practices. The backlash was even stronger from the public with the rise of the #DeleteFacebook movement.
Decline in Facebook Organic Reach
In January 2018, Facebook announced that it would prioritize posts from users’ family and friends over those from brands they follow.
According to Zuckerberg himself, this decision addresses the community’s feedback that Facebook content from brands was “crowding out the personal moments that lead us to connect more with each other.”
Because of reduced visibility on Facebook, brands have experienced as much as 40% drop in organic reach.
Russian Election Ads and “Fake News”
Facebook went through public scrutiny again due to accusations that it allowed fake Russian Facebook accounts to buy more than $100,000 in election ads, which were supposedly used to influence the results of the 2016 presidential election in favor of Trump.
Amid criticisms on political ad spending on social media, Facebook has taken measures to increase transparency of advertising on its social network.
Social media marketers are taking the brunt of the aftermath of these Facebook controversies. The social media giant had to do damage control, implementing major changes with a significant impact on businesses and brands that rely on Facebook for their marketing activities.
How to Make the Recent Facebook Updates Work for You
If you’re struggling with improving your Facebook marketing game this year, don’t give up on the social media platform just yet. You can take some steps to win it despite the challenges.
#1 Engage Your Audience Through Facebook Live
Because of the new Facebook algorithm, posts from family and friends appear higher in News Feed than posts from businesses. Although your target audience sees fewer posts from your brand, it doesn’t mean you can’t increase your organic reach on Facebook.
The key is to create “meaningful interactions” (as Facebook puts it) by making more videos that people will want to comment on, react to, and share with friends. What better way to do it than using Facebook Live that provides real-time and interactive content to your audience?
On average, Facebook users watch a live video three times longer than a pre-recorded one and interact six times more than with traditional videos. Facebook also sends notifications to alert your fans each time you’re live streaming, building up excitement on viewers.
Here are the ways to engage your audience better on Facebook Live:
- Think of topics or issues that matter to your audience and can spark discussions online: You can broadcast behind-the-scenes footage, breaking news, product tutorials, Q&A, interviews with influencers in your niche, and more.
- Schedule your posts right: It isn’t enough that you have a potentially engaging content for your live videos. Timing is just as crucial to reaching your audience. The best time to go live is during the times of day when most of your fans are online. To find this information, simply go to Facebook Insights, click on the “Posts” tab, and then click on “When Your Fans Are Online” tab.
- Promote your Facebook Live events: When you’ve identified the optimal time to live stream on Facebook, make sure to let people know when and where to find your broadcast.
A notable use of live videos in a Facebook marketing strategy is National Geographic’s Safari Live streams. Many of its videos of wild animals going about their lives have garnered millions of views.
For instance, the captured moment of a wildebeest giving birth in South Africa has reached 15 million views.
When you gain higher engagement because of your interactive live videos, you raise your chances of showing up on your audience’s news feed.
#2 Lessen the Impact of GDPR on Your Facebook Marketing Campaigns
In an attempt to restore trust following the public outcry over the Cambridge Analytica scandal, Facebook updated its privacy tools. This action was also in compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
The GDPR is a data privacy regulation that gives users within the European Union (EU) more control over their personal information. European consumers, for instance, can have their data removed or request data to be moved to another platform.
For its part, Facebook launched new features such as a privacy shortcuts menu and the “Access Your Information” section, where users can delete any information they don’t want to be seen on the social network.
Naturally, Facebook expects advertisers to comply with the GDPR as well. If you use Facebook advertising and cater to a global audience (which may include Europeans), you’re responsible for protecting your customer data.
Facebook now also requires advertisers to get consent from people on their email list before using them as a Custom Audience. Unless you receive permission from your contacts or leads, you can’t upload your LinkedIn contacts to Facebook or even use the email addresses from business cards gathered from a trade event.
Here’s what you can do to ensure your compliance with the new privacy regulation:
- Ensure that all the tools you use for processing personal data are GDPR-compliant: Avoid sharing personal data with non-GDPR-compliant tools. To know if a platform or system complies with the data privacy regulation, look for GDPR and data privacy knowledge on its website.
- Know the rights of individuals under the GDPR: These include the right to be informed about how you’ll use their data and the right to object to the use of their data.
- Delete users from your custom audiences when they withdraw consent: If someone opts out of your targeted ads, you’ll have to remove the user from all custom audiences that this person is a part of. To delete a specific user, just send an HTTP DELETE request to Facebook (https://graph.facebook.com/<API_VERSION>/act_<AD_ACCOUNT_ID>/usersofanyaudience). Facebook will then remove it from all your custom audiences.
Protecting customer data helps you earn trust and even increase sales. A Deloitte study found that 50% of consumers consider privacy and security of their personal data when choosing an e-commerce retailer, and 80% are more likely to buy from companies they believe protect their personal data.
#3 Be Fully Transparent with Your Audience
In response to the controversy over Russian-bought election ads, Facebook now requires full ad transparency from advertisers to raise accountability and prevent abuse. For instance, political ads on Facebook must include information on who paid for them.
Facebook’s Ad Transparency tool allows people to view any advertisements a Facebook page is running by going to the “Info and Ads” section, whether or not they’re the target audience. They can also click on “Report Ad” to flag any bad or suspicious ad.
Another measure to make Facebook ads and pages more transparent is requiring verification of people who manage pages with large numbers of fans. Those who don’t undergo the process won’t be able to post on Facebook.
How to be openly transparent with your Facebook audience? Just comply with the social network’s requirements regarding disclosure, especially if you’re running election-related ads. Refrain from making fake accounts, too.
People are more likely to engage with your brand if they feel you’re a legitimate entity and worthy of their trust.
#4 Use Facebook Pixel to Deliver Targeted Ads
The Facebook Pixel is a tracking code on a website that collects data and enables monitoring of conversions from Facebook ads, like if site visitors added a product on their shopping cart or completed the purchase.
While it doesn’t really pose a challenge to marketers, Facebook’s recent update to its tracking Pixel is worth noting here. It offers brands a first-party cookie option for more accurate measurement, analytics, and reporting of data. This allows marketers to reach the right people on Facebook by targeting them regardless of the browser they’re using.
With Facebook improving Pixel’s capabilities each year, installing Facebook Pixel on your website makes a lot of sense.
By effectively tracking the actions of people who click on your Facebook ads, you can improve on your advertising strategy accordingly and serve targeted ad messaging on Facebook.
FAQs: What You Need to Know More About Facebook Updates
Can I Still Run Successful Facebook Marketing Campaigns for Free?
Yes, you can still grow your organic reach on Facebook even without an advertising budget. You just need to be more creative in increasing your reach and engagement.
Here are some of the things you can do to market in Facebook for free:
- Improve your Facebook business page: Share more videos and visually appealing content.
- Use Facebook groups to your advantage: Create your own or join a relevant one.
- Make the most of using live video, events, and other Facebook features.
- Ask for feedback: Give your customers an enticing incentive to leave a review on your Facebook page.
Do Facebook Page Likes Still Matter Today?
Facebook page likes no longer matter as much as they did prior to Facebook’s News Feed change. People are less likely to see your branded posts, unless you spend money to boost your post. Thus, having millions of likes won’t make much of an impact.
What really matters nowadays is how much engagement and revenue your Facebook page and posts are getting. So when planning your Facebook posts, focus on how they can engage (and eventually bring in money) rather than the number of likes they’ll potentially amass.
Why Do My Ads Keep Getting Disapproved?
If you keep getting rejection notifications from Facebook, review your ads thoroughly. They may be violating Facebook’s community standards or promoting anything illegal such as drugs, harmful computer software, or tobacco.
Facebook also shuns ads with poorly written copies, misleading messages, and anything spammy.
How Much Does an Average Facebook Ad Cost?
Businesses worldwide spend an average of $0.28 for their Facebook ads, based on AdExpresso’s analysis. Ads to increase reach and leads are the most expensive at $1.01 and $0.79, respectively. Meanwhile, ads for post and page engagements are at the lowest end of the spectrum at $0.04 and $0.03, respectively.
However, there’s no fixed pricing when it comes to Facebook advertising cost. According to Facebook, you can set your ad budget, and it will come up with possible amounts for the amount you’re willing to pay.
How much you’ll be paying for advertising on Facebook also depends on many other factors, including your target audience and the quality and relevance of your ads.
How Much Should I Spend on Facebook Ads Daily?
You don’t need to spend much on Facebook ads when you’re just starting out. It’s best to start out small. For example, your daily ad budget can go as little as $1 for boosting a post to drive engagement or at least $5 for all other types of campaigns.
When you hit a conversion cost that works for you, begin scaling up and spending more, like $10 to $20 per day.
Is Instagram a Better Channel to Use Than Facebook?
Instagram makes an effective social media marketing channel, especially if you’re targeting young adults. A Pew Research Center survey found that heavy Instagram users are between the ages of 18 and 24.
Instagram even delivers four times more engagement than Facebook. So leverage it for your campaigns, whether as an alternative or a complement to Facebook marketing.
Is Facebook still worth using as a marketing channel? It surely is!
Facebook may be grappling with controversies left and right and continue to make more changes in the future. But there’s no denying the relevance of this social media giant for marketers. As what RedStagFulfillment confirms, Facebook is still a key driver of ecommerce sales, especially with customer service going social.
It’s still an effective tool for raising brand awareness, getting leads, engaging audience, providing customer service, and directing visitors to your website—as long as you get your Facebook marketing and advertising right.
What do you think? How do you adjust to the recent Facebook updates and make them work to your advantage? Have you been getting results so far? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.